Dryer Vent Maintenance Tips

The weather is warm, summer is almost here, and you think your need for services from a chimney and fireplace company is over until next fall, right? At The Fireplace Doctor, our services don’t stop as soon as the cold weather goes away. The months between burning seasons are the perfect time to think about other appliances in your home that need routine maintenance. Dryer vents especially require proper care to work efficiently and safely.  Here are a few warning signs to look out for when you think it’s time for a dryer vent check-up:

  • Extended drying time. A regular load of clothes shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to dry completely. If you’re having to run one load through several cycles, there is most likely an issue with your dryer vent.
  • Overheated clothing. At the end of a normal cycle, clothes should be warm. If they are scorching hot, however, the dryer vents could be overheating.
  • Closed vent hood flapper. When the dryer is in operation, the vent hood flapper should be open. If it doesn’t open automatically, it needs to be inspected for damages.
Most homeowners don’t think about cleaning out their dryer vents until it’s too late. Lint buildups in dryer exhaust systems are known causes of dryer vent fires in homes across America. Recent statistics show that more than 15,000 clothes dryer fires break out each year, costing homeowners millions of dollars in damages. Regular cleanings are the best way to prevent a fire from breaking out in your laundry room.
The technicians at The Fireplace Doctor are certified dryer vent professionals. They follow a thorough checklist to ensure your dryer remains in the best condition throughout the year. When one of our technicians comes to your home to clean and inspect your dryer event, these are some of the things he is looking for:
  • Dryer duct is at least 4″ in diameter.
  • Concealed ducts are made from rigid metal materials.
  • Metal tape secures all duct joints.
  • Pipe connections point in the same direction as the airflow.
  • Dryer vents terminate outdoors.
  • Flexible metal is used to connect the dryer and the duct.
  • Outside hood includes a back draft damper.

 

Off season services

Although the winter is over, there’s still plenty you can do to maintain your chimney and fireplace, usually at a lower price than those offered during the peak season. Here are a few ways you can invest in your chimney or fireplace this spring:

  • Chimney cleaning and inspection. Don’t wait until next fall to clean out the soot and ash leftover from last season’s fires. Creosote and soot that coat the inside of chimney flues can lead to “chimney breath”, a sour smell that permeates your entire home when the temperature and humidity levels rise. By getting the routine maintenance out of the way early in the year, you can make sure your chimney and fireplace will be ready as soon as the cold weather returns.
  • Cap  installation. Spring is the mating season for most species of animals, meaning they will be looking for a place to settle down with their “families.” Unfortunately for homeowners, chimneys are an appealing location to escape the wild. Chimney experts recommend having a chimney cap installed in early spring to keep pesky critters from accessing your chimney. Caps also keep twigs and leaves  from getting inside your chimney, so they are a valuable investment for any homeowner.
  • Waterproofing. With early spring comes increased rainfall. It’s crucial for homeowners to protect their chimneys from the effects of rain that can collect on top of the roof and cause water leaks. The Fireplace Doctor has a number of solutions, ranging from Flashseal to Chimney Saver. Check out our services section to learn more about our waterproofing products, and save yourself the hassle of repairing water damage this summer.

It’s common for homeowners to neglect their chimney and fireplace during the spring and summer. This can be dangerous and lead to serious damage in homes, however, so taking the time to schedule routine maintenance or specialized service now, before the summer gets into full swing, would be worth your time and money.

Don’t wait until it’s too late; call the Fireplace Doctor today to schedule an appointment. We can offer more flexible scheduling and special deals that you won’t find during the peak season!